The province of Southland is a triangular wedge of sheep farms and trout streams. Like Dunedin, the region has strong Scottish connections. Inhabitants still roll their r's and many place names are Gaelic in origin. At the bottom of this triangle, Invercargill is New Zealand's most southernmost city and the jumping off point for Stewart Island.
Invercargill is a mere 30 minutes drive to the port town of Bluff home of the delectable Bluff Oyster; - and from the fishing town of Riverton. Destinations close to Invercargill include the Southland heartland, Stewart Island, Fiordland and the Catlins. Visitors to the region often say how much there is to see and do in Invercargill. If you’re a garden lover you must see Queens Park and its 80 hectares of tree-lined walkways and diverse gardens in Invercargill. Invercargill invites you to experience the warmth, friendliness and hospitality of Southland. Invercargill, on the Southern Scenic Route, is the gateway to some of New Zealand's most beautiful scenery.
The Catlins is a major highlight. Situated off the beaten track, the Catlins encompass the area between Kaka Point and Fortrose. You will journey through rural heartland and podocarp forests, past rugged coastlines, hidden lakes and stunning waterfalls. The natural landscapes are enthralling and the wildlife is extraordinary. Drive to Nugget Point and you’ll see fur seals, Hooker’s sea lions, sea elephants and rare penguins in the wild. And if you look closely, you may see Hector's dolphins frolicking out in the waves. While here, walk the track to the huge lighthouse. Perched on the edge of a cliff high above the coast, it makes for a beautiful photo – especially at sunset. Combine this with a walk through a petrified forest that’s over 180 million years old, and your visit becomes a unique experience you’ll never forget.